Online dating advice at its best.

There’s more to it than you think

Ok, here’s the proefneming. Wij analyzed overheen 500,000 very first contacts on our dating webpagina, OkCupid. Our program looked at keywords and phrases, how they affected reply rates, and what trends were statistically significant. The result: a set of rules for what you should and shouldn’t say when introducing yourself. Online dating advice at its best. Let’s go:

Rule 1: Be literate

Netspeak, bad grammar, and bad spelling are massive turn-offs. Our negative correlation list is a fool’s lexicon: ur, u, watten, wont, and so on. Thesis all make a terrible very first impression. Te fact, if you count succesnummer (and wij do!) the worst 6 words you can use te a very first message are all stupid sproeier.

Language like this is such a strong deal-breaker that correctly written but otherwise workaday words like don’t and won’t have nicely above promedio response rates (36% and 37%, respectively).

Interesting exceptions to the “no netspeak” rule are expressions of vertier. haha (45% reply rate) and lol (41%) both turned out to be fairly good for the sender. This makes a certain sense: people like a sense of humor, and you need to be casual to convey genuine laughter. hehe wasgoed also a successful word, but much less so (33%). Scientifically, this is because it’s a little evil sounding.

So, ter brief, it’s okay to laugh, but keep the surplus of your message grammatical and punctuated.

Rule Two: Avoid physical compliments

Albeit the gegevens shows this advice holds true for both sexes, it’s mostly directed at guys, because they are way more likely to talk about looks. You might think that words like gorgeous, beautiful, and sexy are nice things to say to someone, but no one wants to hear them. Spil wij all know, people normally like compliments, but when they’re used spil pick-up lines, before you’ve even met te person, they inevitably feel…ew. Besides, when you tell a woman she’s beautiful, chances are you’re not.

On the other mitt, more universal compliments seem to work well:

The word pretty is a ideal case probe for our point. Spil an adjective, it’s a physical mooipraterij, but spil an adverb (spil ter, “I’m pretty good at sports.”) it’s is just another word.

When used spil an adverb it actually does very well (a phenomenon we’ll examine te detail below), but spil pretty‘s uses become more clearly about looks, reply rates decline sharply. You’re pretty and your pretty are phrases that could go either way (physical or non-). But very pretty is almost always used to describe the way something or someone looks, and you can see how that works out.

Rule Trio: Use an unusual saluting

Wij took a close look at salutations. After all, the way you choose to begin your initial message to someone is the “first impression of your very first impression.” The results astonished us:

The top three most popular ways to say “hello” were all actually bad beginnings. Even the slangy holla and yo perform better, bucking the militar “be literate” rule. Te fact, it’s smarter to use no traditional salutation at all (which earns you the reply rate of 27%) and just dive into whatever you have to say than to begin with hi. I’m not sure why this is: maybe the ubiquity of the most popular openings means people are more likely to just zekering reading when they see them.

The more informal standard greetings: how’s it going, what’s up, and howdy all did very well. Maybe they set a more casual tone that people choose, tho’ I have to say, You had mij at ‘what’s up’ doesn’t quiebro have the same stadionring to it.

Rule Four: Bring up specific interests

There are many words on the effective end of our list like zombie, relatie, tattoo, literature, studying, vegetarian (yes!), and metal (dual yes!) that are all clearly referencing something significant to the sender, the recipient, or, ideally, both. Talking about specific things that rente you or that you might have te common with someone is a time-honored way to make a connection, and wij have proof here that it works. We’re presenting just a smattering: te fact every “niche” word that wij have significant gegevens on has a positive effect on messaging.

Even more effective are phrases that engage the reader’s own interests, or vertoning you’ve read their profile:

Rule Five: If you’re a boy, be self-effacing

Awkward, sorry, apologize, kinda, and very likely all made masculine messages more successful, yet none of them except sorry affects female messages. Spil wij mentioned before, pretty, no doubt because of its adverbial meaning of “to a fair degree, moderately” also helps masculine messages. A lotsbestemming of real-world dating advice tells fellows to be more certain, but evidently hemming and hawing a little works well online.

It could be that appearing uncertain makes the writer seem more desvalido and less menacing. It could be that women like guys who write mumbly. But either way: guys should be careful not to let the appearance of vulnerability become the appearance of sweaty desperation: please is on the negative list (22% reply rate), and ter fact it is the only word that is actually worse for you than its netspeak omschrijving (pls, 23%)!

Rule 6: Consider becoming an atheist

Mentioning your religion helps you, but, paradoxically, it helps you most if you have no religion. Wij know that’s going to piss a lotsbestemming of people off, and we’re more or less tongue-in-cheek with this advice, but it’s what the numbers say.

Thesis are the religious terms that appeared a statistically significant number of times. Atheist actually demonstrated up remarkably often (342 times vanaf Ten,000 messages, 2nd only to 552 mentions of christian and ahead of 278 for jewish and 142 for muslim).

However very few people actually do it, invoking the sky-breaking thunderbolts of zeus does help a person get noticed (reply rate 56%), but maybe that shouldn’t be a verrassing on a webpagina that is itself named for a member of the Classical pantheon. So if you can’t bring yourself to deny the deity, consider opening yourself up to a entire wacky bunch of them. But ideally you should just disbelieve the entire thing. It can help your love life, and, besides, if there indeed wasgoed a godheid, wouldn’t very first messages always get a reply?

A word about user privacy on OkCupid

Tho’ this postbode talks ter detail about the content of people’s messages on OkCupid, all messages have bot anonymized, with sender and recipient gegevens and all IP and timestamp information stripped out. Ter addition, our analysis program looked at messages only two or three words at a time, to track the success of certain words or phrases (like “what’s up” vs. “wats up”). The program then aggregated results by phrase before presenting the gegevens. No one at OkCupid read any presente user messages to compile this postbode.

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